Cheap Valentine’s Day dates: Romance on a budget


Julie Sisler

Valentine’s Day rolls around each year and puts on the pressure to go all out to show your love and appreciation for your significant other. But for college students on tight budgets, this can pose a problem. Here are 11 ideas to spend time with your sweetheart without breaking the bank.

1: Show your Hilltopper pride at the basketball game against Middle Tennessee at 7 p.m. in Diddle Arena. Admission is free for students! Spend some time with your honey and show both them and your school some love!

2: Find your and your partner’s inner zen at the Preston Center-sponsored Love Well Week “Partner Yoga” event. Practice a variety of partner moves and enjoy a free workout while you do! Students get free admission to the event, held at 3:30 p.m. in the Preston Center multipurpose room.

3: Grab a meal at Chili’s on campus. You can use your dining dollars, so all you have to worry about is the tip!

4: Show your lover a Valentine’s Day that’s out of this world by stopping by the Hardin Planetarium to take in one of the free shows. Shows start at 7 p.m.

5: Get in touch with nature by exploring Lost River Cave or go hiking on the grounds. Enjoy some time off campus to take in the scenic views. The Lost River Cave boat tours offer a student discount, and it’s free to explore the grounds.

6: Embrace your inner artist with a Bob Ross night in. Pick up some canvases and paints at Michael’s—altogether about $15—and pick a random episode off of Bob Ross’ Netflix series. Spend the evening relaxing with thoughts of love and happy trees.

7: Spread the love by volunteering together! Reach out to an animal shelter or food pantry and set up some time to give back to the community. What’s more romantic than seeing your special someone giving back?

8: Put your teamwork to the test by hosting a game night with friends.

Test your partner’s knowledge with Trivial Pursuit, their wit with Cards Against Humanity or their strategy with RISK. If everyone brings a pot-luck item, you’ve got a cheap dinner, as well!

9: Treat your sweetie to a sweet treat. Bowling Green is full of small businesses that will satisfy your sweet tooth. Look up local bakeries and confectionaries to give a try, and maybe even get a few things you usually wouldn’t!

10: Make this Valentine’s Day your own personal throwback Thursday. Grab your lovebird and head to the grocery store to grab some of your favorite snacks from childhood. A Lunchables for dinner—maybe a Lunchables Uploaded if you’re willing to splurge—some Kool-Aid Jammers or Capri Suns, and top it off with some frosted animal crackers for dessert. Take it home and find a favorite movie from your childhood to put on, and watch your lover’s inner child come out!

11: For the music lovers, make each other a playlist. Fill it with love songs, songs from musicians you both love or even music you think they might like. Then, get in the car and go on a sunset drive around Bowling Green while giving each playlist a try.

Whether your love wants to stay in or go out, there’s a variety of ways to show your appreciation. Remember the most important part of Valentine’s Day isn’t the hearts or flowers: it’s spending time with the ones you love.

Features reporter Julie Sisler can be reached at 270-745-6291 and [email protected]. Follow Julie on social media at @julie_sisler.